Persona 5 Royal (PS4) Review
Still the Persona you know and love
Still the Persona you know and love
No new game + Persona 5 saves
The original Persona 5 shipped roughly three years ago, and has quickly become the fan favorite title in the series. As a 25 year running JRPG series, this isn’t surprising as the last core entry in the game franchise was almost a decade ago; it wasn’t just many people’s first Persona game, it was the only one they were aware of. Now that time has passed and some of the lust has worn off, Atlus is releasing an ultimate edition of the title, with new content and characters included — the question is if it still deserves all the love it earned the first time around.
One of the main disappointments for anyone that will be returning to this title from the base game is that the save data does not carry over. Anyone looking to have a New Game + runthrough and find the new features with ease will need to step back and earn it. The game will notice a Persona 5 save file, although simply having one is the same as having a 100% clear file, and give possibly the most lackluster reward possible.
This happens within the first several in-game weeks of the game, almost setting the tone that this is not really designed for returning players. There is a ton of new content, some much buried beneath the layers and layers of previously walked on streets, but it almost feels designed that all of it was put there for new people, and not those who were returning to try and experience everything the new game had to offer. This is even with the random hints that are dotted throughout of new player characters, and abilities — none of it really feels like it was there for those of us who put so much in in before.
That isn’t to say that there isn’t anything good to come back to; there are tons of balance changes done to dungeons –new enemies and the like. The customary expansion of Personas has happened as well. There is the aforementioned new content, and characters, so anyone who is deep, deep into the game prior to this release will find more of the same, just with more polish. This is, of course, without even bringing up the fact that the graphics have gotten an overhaul to run in 4K for those out there that can support it with their PS4 Pros. For everyone else that means the game kind of just looks and runs just slightly better.
Anyone who is a newcomer to the title will find plenty to love as well, as the story is as deep and involved as any other Persona. All of the characters are fully fleshed out, everyone has their own reasons for doing exactly what they do, and any thread that is pulled on long enough almost always comes to a satisfying conclusion. Personally, the only issue present is that some of the characters feel less likable throughout than in previous numbered games–the city itself doesn’t feel to be as much of a character as in Persona 4 either. But this is also a complaint from someone who is not only a fan of Persona, but the main series it spawned from.
Persona 5 Royal is a great game, with very little negative to say about such a fantastic re-release. The added content is enough to bring in anyone who was waiting on the side for a reason to jump into the series, or even this title. While the struggle is very present for returning players to find the new content, it is there for those who seek it out, and worth it for those who want it. In the end, the title is a worthy successor to the name Persona, it just doesn’t show its cards that easy.